Kudos to Mary Christine Bader for her excellent May 25 commentary “How can the U.S. turn its eyes from Gaza deaths?” and to the Star Tribune for printing it. She expressed truths that far too many Americans do not want to hear. Our unconditional support for Israel blinds us to the atrocities committed in Gaza. Congress ought to act in the best interests of the United States.

How can it be in our best interest to be complicit in the ongoing outrageous behavior?

Florence Steichen, St. Paul

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Our first trip to Minneapolis-St. Paul was tarnished by the Bader essay.

To get accurate facts about anything related to Israel requires a look beyond the internet or a liberal network or cable news program. Only conservative outlets such as Fox News or the Wall Street Journal take the time to be objective and get facts sorted from propaganda.

Minnesota borders Canada. Would it be “Nazi-like” to defend against the penetration of the border if Canada were Gaza? What would Minnesota do if thousands of bombs were launched into northern Minnesota? What would you do if a terrorist regime paid citizens to storm the border, used women and children as targets for their own ends, and lied to its populace?

As has been widely reported, Hamas told demonstrators that the Israeli army had retreated running and that Palestinians should storm the border and breach the fence. Hamas operatives, meanwhile, planted explosives along the fence. Israeli marksmen stopped these terrorists.

As has been widely reported, the lie circulating that a journalist was shot was exposed. The “journalist” was a Hamas operative and terrorist to all but Bader. The number of those killed and injured is still not accurate, yet Bader promotes these “facts.”

And as a New Yorker, when you say “well-financed supporters” of Israel, I know what your words mean. And to Bader, I say: “Never again.”

Dianne Stillman, Brooklyn, N.Y.

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A friend, returning from a church mission trip to Israel/Palestine, said it was near impossible to have an unbiased opinion when she saw how badly the Palestinian people are treated every day by the Israelis.

Bader was correct in saying that our elected officials are afraid to take a stand because of the powerful and well-funded Jewish lobbyists in Washington, just like the NRA, the pharmaceutical industry and hundreds of other organizations that are running our country.

What can an individual do? How do we speak up to add our voices in protest to the oppression, killings and violence that have been going on for far too long? A good place to start is the Jewish Voice For Peace (JVP), an organization that for years has devoted itself to a peaceful resolution for both Palestine and Israel. Check it out.

Nancy Nichols, St. Louis Park

VETERANS

Letter eloquently stated the consequences of war

The May 28 letter by Philip Sturm (“Memorial Day: A eulogy of rage”) eloquently stated exact thoughts many of us have had for years. I cut the article from the paper, and will keep it to reread and refer to others.

My deceased husband, a Marine who served in the Korean conflict and the recipient of the Navy Cross, two Purple Hearts plus other decorations, suffered all his life from the effects of the carnage he was subjected to. It also deeply affected the family. Mr. Sturm is right: “War is an injustice.”

No one can convince me war is the answer. War is big business. The public is fed patriotic jargon by the military, politicians and media, to the point we are made to feel like traitors when we say otherwise.

Thank you for running this fine letter. And, thank you, Mr. Sturm, for your insightful words.

Jan Green, Golden Valley

GUN VIOLENCE AND CHILDREN

The more attention given to our culture’s recklessness, the better

The May 29 article “Parents condemn shooting video game,” about the upcoming computer video game “Active Shooter” to be released on June 6 that lets players choose being an active shooter terrorizing a school or the SWAT team responding to the shooting, should have made the front page so readers would be more aware of it. Here is a good reason for the “protesters” to be active!

One wonders how the people of game developer Revived Games and publisher Acid can sleep at night. Imagine the damage giving our young people ideas and using the video for entertainment to better brush up their skills to shoot. It is unbelievable! I believe in freedom of speech, but the least the media should do is publicize the actions of these companies in a more noticeable way so the companies would have to deal with a scandal.

Marilyn L. Maloney, Minnetonka

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The middle-school student who shot up his Indiana science class was not a “gunman” (“Indiana science teacher disarms school shooter,” May 26.) He was a “gunboy.” As were 28 shooters in school shootings (Wikipedia).

Roberta Olson, St. Paul

IDEOLOGY IN THE CLASSROOM

Students benefit when teachers express themselves

I agree with many of the claims in Bill Boegeman’s May 28 commentary “Keeping ideology where it belongs — in the classroom” As a high school student, I find it refreshing to see that Boegeman doesn’t shy away from offering his perspectives to his students. I believe that varying ideologies should be discussed in a classroom setting. Although he stated that he is sometimes “actively trying to suppress” his biases, that may not necessarily be the best way for students to understand their own views. It could be beneficial for them to hear his true feelings on certain political issues; however, it is also important to point out the other side of such controversy.

From my experiences, I often find myself wanting to hear what my teachers have to say, especially because they are mature adults who have more knowledge about the world than I do. School is the best place for children to form their own opinions, and teachers can provide new context for their thoughts.

McKenna Sporer, Stillwater

LEGACY FUNDS

Arts are ‘essential to any complete national life’

Just a response to the May 27 letter asserting that “State funding for arts should be a fairly low priority. It is a ‘nice-to-have,’ a luxury.”

A Winston Churchill quote: “The arts are essen­tial to any com­plete national life. The state owes it to itself to sus­tain and encour­age them … . Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the rev­er­ence and delight which are their due.”

As civilizations throughout history have proved, human life without art is sterile.

Kathleen Peterson, Winona, Minn.

FIRE AT CHICAGO AND LAKE

A cultural connection also went up in smoke

The building gutted by fire on Sunday at Chicago Avenue and Lake Street in Minneapolis was also once home to Robert Pirsig, the author of the cult classic “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” He worked on the book while living above Robert’s Shoes in the 1970s.

Nick Johnson, Excelsior